Your goal as an ecommerce brand should always be to stand out from the competition. The most common tactics to do this include improving your product, social media marketing, or optimizing your web design.
While these actions are great, there’s one aspect of the buying process that brands take for granted: the unboxing experience.
Brands are so worried about landing new business that they don’t think about what happens when customers receive their order. Done right, however, branded packaging can be a great way to boost retention and create loyal customers.
What is Unboxing?
“Unboxing” is when a customer opens up your order, the same way they’d open up a gift for their birthday or Christmas.
Not only does branded packaging offer an experience to the customer, it’s one of the best ways to promote your brand. Let’s understand why and what you can do to create an incredible unboxing experience.
Why Branded Packaging Matters to eCommerce
With so many brands competing for customers’ attention, branded packaging is the one investment that could make you stand out. Here’s why:
It Builds a Great First Impression
First impressions matter, and it’s no different for eCommerce brands.
One of the biggest obstacles in eCommerce is that you’re not there with the customer face-to-face. A great unboxing experience fills that gap by creating a powerful connection.
Branded packaging shows you value your customers’ satisfaction and go every step of the way to deliver. As a result, you’ll boost their perception of your brand.
It Creates Loyal Customers
The best customers are not the ones who only buy once from your store. They’re the ones who repeatedly come back to your store for more and drive repeat purchases.
Branded packaging is one of the most effective customer retention tactics. The reason why it works so well is that it drives emotion and makes the purchase feel unique — customers won’t feel like they’re just another sale.
It Generates Epic User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content (or UGC) refers to any content created by a brand’s consumers. These can include:
- Blog posts
- Reviews & testimonials
- Pictures on social media
- And more
UGC is one of the most effective ways you can promote your brand online. 79% of customers believe that UGC influences their buying decisions.
So how does this relate to branded packaging? A memorable unboxing experience can be a goldmine when it comes to UGC. Customers love to publish unique boxes they get from brands, just like in this example:
In other words, it’s like getting free publicity for your business.
8 Ways You Can Create Incredible Branded Packaging
Now that you know why the unboxing experience matters, it’s time to take action. Here are eight ways that you make your branded packaging stand out:
Provide a Handwritten Thank You Note
When it comes to engaging your customers, a simple word of gratitude goes a long way. One unique way to show customers that they matter to you is through personalized thank you cards.
Include inserts with every order. Tell a story about your brand, your product, or how much you care about the customer for ordering. At the moment of unboxing, the customer will never be more focused on your brand. Reinforce that with a branded insert that enhances their experience.
Give a Free Sample
Another way to surprise and delight customers is to give them more than they expect. You can do this by including free samples in your packaging. Adding free samples will make customers feel like they got more value for their money. After all, who can say no to free stuff?
Make Your Packaging Eco-Friendly
The best way to do this is to use recyclable material in your packaging. We’ll take a look at a great example of what this can look like below.
Include Discount Codes or Special Offers
To make customers feel special, you can add exclusive perks and coupons in your packaging. With redeemable vouchers, you’ll be able to encourage customers to buy more and drive repeat purchases.
Add Branded Stickers Inside and Out
A low-cost way to spice up your packaging is to include various branded stickers on your box. Not only do stickers add a nice personal touch, they can also be useful to seal packages.
Use Colorful Packing Materials
Instead of the same boring packing materials, why don’t you mix it up and get colorful? If you need to protect the contents of a package, don’t just rely on brown craft paper – get creative!
Customize your Cardboard Box
One of the best materials we recommend for branded packaging is cardboard. It’s low-cost and easy to customize to reflect the look and feel of your brand.
Examples of Brands Killing It With Packaging
Need some examples of what a fantastic unboxing experience looks like for inspiration? Check out how these brands are maximizing their packaging to retain customers and deliver the best experience:
Glossier is one of the leading brands in the beauty industry that sells various skin care and make up products. They’re also a company that understands the importance of packaging.
One thing to note about their branded design is its slogan : “Skin first. Makeup Second. Smile Always.” It’s a fun way to show their personality and give customers something to post about on social media.
Jeni’s Ice Cream
Another excellent example of packaging done right is Jeni’s ice cream. What’s great about its packaging is that it builds excitement for the customer with one sentence:
“Ice cream inside — please open immediately”.
Jeni’s unboxing experience shows they pay attention to detail, we can tell their customers are loving it based on the testimonials on their box page.
The goal of Seed Phytonutrients is to make natural body products that also respect the environment. They partner with American organic farmers to deliver the best products for their customers.
Their packaging does an excellent job of showcasing their eco-friendly values. Each of their packaging boxes and bottles are made of 100% recycled materials.
Seed Phytonutrients’ packaging shows that their actions are congruent with their values. They don’t just talk about respecting the environment — they’re actively doing it themselves.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. By focusing on creating an exceptional unboxing experience, you’ll make your brand stand out and leave customers hungry for more. Keep in mind that branding isn’t the only thing to consider when coming up with packaging. If you want to turn packaging and shipping into an asset for your business, find out how Essential Hub can help you today.